Who was the only person to be fired from the Foo Fighters?

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters never had a chance to mature properly. Dave Grohl’s Nirvana experience meant the Foo Fighters publicly navigated their development, rather than behind the scenes. This public growing process shaped the band in unique ways. That resulted in a few damaged egos, numerous Nirvana parallels, and a changing roster of musicians.

Though Grohl, Smear, Goldsmith, and Mendel played early shows, Goldsmith fell out of step, prompting Grohl to play drums. Going into the production of The Colour and The Shape, Goldsmith described the entire studio experience as terrible. Producer Gil Norton referred to him and Mendel as “the rhythmless section.”

Rather than relying on Goldsmith’s performance, Grohl decided to play all of the drums on the record himself. Consequently, Goldsmith left the band to return to Sunny Day Real Estate. While the band found a suitable replacement in Taylor Hawkins, Smear informed Grohl a few days later that he had to leave. Smear, who had previously played with Nirvana and The Germs, was tired of the tour cycle and wanted to slow down.

But it doesn’t matter to Grohl. In his mind, the ideal candidate for the job was Franz Stahl, with whom he had previously collaborated in his pre-Nirvana punk band, Scream. Stahl remembered joining the band as a whirlwind experience, telling Back and Forth, “We had talked.” The next thing he knew, he was playing on top of Radio City Music Hall. I enjoy playing with Dave, and there were no songs that I didn’t like. I was really looking forward to writing with them and making my mark.

Hawkins would say that he thought the new lineup had a lot of potential, adding, “Franz was a great guy, and I actually got really close to him. It just seemed like it would be perfect.”

Stahl, on the other hand, would never fit in when the band began shedding wood on the road. Grohl described the songwriting process with Stahl as a grueling experience, saying, “Me, Taylor, and Nate had this thing where we were all on the same page.” Franz never figured his way into it. He was just a great friend of mine who, unfortunately, I had asked to leave the band. And that is not to say he isn’t a great musician; everyone knows he is.”

Stahl admitted to being caught off guard when he was asked to leave, only receiving a casual phone call informing him of his dismissal. After regrouping yet again, Grohl decided that the best way to keep the Foos moving was to record the next album as a trio. He chilled out in his native Virginia and created the album There Is Nothing Left to Lose.

Following a few open auditions, the Foo Fighters selected Chris Shiflett from No Use For a Name as their new guitarist. Pat Smear returned in the early 2010s. Although Stahl expressed bitterness, he does not appear to harbor any ill will towards his old friend. He later stated, “I was in the band, and for whatever reason, I was out of the band.” “ But those were some of the best years of my life.”

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